Wednesday, June 30, 2010
But she will NOT state that she wrote the memo.
This poor babe has to play the evasion game as though she's Al Capone on national television. Next thing you know, she'll plead the 5th Amendment.
Great nominee, Bammy!
Here's the new "deal" proposed by the Obama GreenWeenie boyzzz:
The Export-Import Bank offer calls for Reliance to build renewable energy plants, producing at least 250 megawatts of electricity, which are expected to produce no carbon emissions.
In the U.S., that amount of power would meet the electricity needs of roughly 85,000 homes.
It's still unknown whether Reliance will agree to the terms, but Kohl said the offer was encouraging.So.
The ExIm bank approves keeping 1,000 US jobs ...
A utility in India promises to find 250MW of juice from elephant dung, or whatever.
Doesn't look like a done deal to me, but we'll see.
Rules For Hunting Lawyers
Washington State attorney season and bag limits
01. Any person with a valid Washington State hunting license may harvest attorneys.
02. Taking of attorneys with traps or deadfalls is permitted. The use of currency as bait is prohibited.
03. Killing of attorneys with a vehicle is prohibited. If accidentally struck, remove dead attorney to roadside and proceed to nearest car wash.
04. It is unlawful to chase, herd, or harvest attorneys from a snow machine, helicopter, or aircraft.
05. It shall be unlawful to shout "whiplash", "ambulance", or "free Perrier" for the purpose of trapping attorneys.
06. It shall be unlawful to hunt attorneys within 100 yards of BMW dealerships.
07. It shall be unlawful to use cocaine, young boys, $100 bills, prostitutes, or vehicle accidents to attract attorneys.
08. It shall be unlawful to hunt attorneys within 200 yards of courtrooms, law libraries, health spas, gay bars, ambulances, hospitals, or judges' anuses.
09. If an attorney is elected to government office, shoot to kill...no questions asked.
10. Stuffed or mounted attorneys must have a state health department inspection for AIDS, rabies, and vermin.
11. It shall be illegal for a hunter to disguise himself as a reporter, drug dealer, pimp, female legal clerk, sheep, accident victim, bookie, or tax accountant for the purpose of hunting attorneys.
1. Yellow Bellied SideWinder 2
2. Two-Faced Tort Feasor 3
3. Back-Stabbing Divorce Litigator 5
4. Big-Mouthed Pub Gut 2
5. Honest Attorney EXTINCT
6. Cut-Throat 2
7. Back-Stabbing Whiner 2
8. Brown-Nosed Judge Kisser 2
9. Silver-Tongued Drug Defender $100 bounty
Barry Ritholtz commits revenge on the hapless boob.
...economics is to important to leave to just anyone. Even economists.
Towards that end, and to further illuminate our discussion, I suggest the following questions be used for all economic PhD candidates in their qualifying exams:
Starting in 2001, the FOMC started a monetary accommodation that took rates to the lowest levels in over 40 years, and then kept them there for 3 years. Discuss the economic and market impact of these rates. Include commodities, residential real estate, and financial derivatives in your answer.
• Almost the entirety of the economics profession missed the 2008 recession, the worst in many decades, in advance. Why?• Federal Reserve economists prefer to focus on “core inflation,” excluding food and energy. What is the basis of this exclusion? What impact does it have on Fed policy? What might it mean for policymakers?
• In 1997, the Boskin Commission claimed that inflation was overstated by 1.1%. Changes to how CPI was calculated (Substitution, Hedonics) were made. How did these changes affect subsequent Federal Reserve Policy? What was their impact on actual — not BLS measured — inflation?
Plenty more at the link.
(Note to Strupp: your responses may be entered in my combox.)
According to a report from the UK's Glass Guide, unless manufacturers properly address customer concerns regarding battery life and performance, the new breed of electric vehicles (EV) soon to be launched will have residual values well below those of rival gasoline and diesel models, with a typical electric vehicle retaining only 10% of its value after five years of ownership, compared to gas and diesel-fueled counterparts retaining 25% of their value in that time period. According to Andy Carroll, managing director at Glass's, the alarming rate of depreciation is a function of customer recognition that the typical EV battery will have a useful life of up to eight years and will cost thousands of dollars to replace. --quoted by MoonBattery
So if you drop $40K on the cute little thing, you have only $4K left after 5 years.
With an ordinary vehicle, you have $10K left after 5 years.
But it's BammyApproved!
The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste plan was kept alive Tuesday when a panel of judges ruled the Obama administration does not have the authority to withdraw the project without permission from Congress. --AP quoted in JustOneMinute
That's the second significant BammyBashing from courts in the last couple of days--the other was the NO District Court's ruling that the Salazar Shutdown was moronic.
A contingent of United Auto Workers from both Racine and Kenosha are expected to show up in Racine on Wednesday afternoon to convince President Barack Obama there is a way to keep jobs in both communities
Then there's the United Steelworkers, who are just a bit unhappy with Bammy's Boyzzzz at ExIm, who scotched $600 million in sales and about 1,000 US jobs with their boneheaded "Green" decision.
Barrett will whine and cry. Doyle will look like the moron that he actually is.
And Bammy? Who knows?
He couldn't look worse than "Bite Me" Biden. Or could he?
A legal challenge to the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage was rejected Wednesday by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
In a 7-0 ruling, the court ruled the 2006 constitutional amendment was properly put to voters in a statewide referendum
Bill McConkey, a University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh political science instructor from Door County, in 2007 sued the state in Dane County Circuit Court arguing that the ban should be struck down.
The Supremes were not persuaded by McConkey's convoluted blather.
There were four candidates for the (R) Lt. Governor slot: Kleefisch, Collins, Davis, and Ross.
Collins dropped out this morning. He was interesting--has a small business, is ex-military, and seemed to have promise.
That leaves Kleefisch, Davis, and Ross.
Ross spoke at the first major Tea Party event in Madistan in April 2009. Impressive--until you learn that he is a John McCain doppelganger: talks right, but despises actual Conservatives when he thinks he's off the record.
Screw that crap.
Then there's Davis, an Assemblyman with all the spine of Jello. When it's time to vote, he likes Doyle's budget.
Screw THAT crap.
Kleefisch, who is engaging and actually has to figure out what she can and cannot do with her money, emerges as the candidate who lives what she talks.
That settles it.
During the conversation, Sensenbrenner mentioned that only EIGHT PERCENT of Porkulus money went to "shovel-ready" projects--that is, projects which utilized private industry to do actual work.
Where's the OTHER 92%?
But is it acceptable for someone who will sit on SCOTUS?
We all know about Slimeball Salazar's 'extra graf'. Several scientists and drilling experts wrote a report on the spill, and Slimeball simply appended a conclusion recommending total shutdown of all drilling in the Gulf.
The experts and scientists did NOT write that, but Slimeball pretended they did.
Now comes Ms. Kagan.
...There is no better example of this distortion of science than the language the United States Supreme Court cited in striking down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion in 2000. This language purported to come from a “select panel” of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a supposedly nonpartisan physicians’ group. ACOG declared that the partial-birth-abortion procedure “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.” The Court relied on the ACOG statement as a key example of medical opinion supporting the abortion method.
...The problem is that the critical language of the ACOG statement was not drafted by scientists and doctors. Rather, it was inserted into ACOG’s policy statement at the suggestion of then–Clinton White House policy adviser Elena Kagan.
The task force’s initial draft statement did not include the statement that the controversial abortion procedure “might be” the best method “in a particular circumstance.” Instead, it said that the select ACOG panel “could identify no circumstances under which this procedure . . . would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.”
That deception is not as blatant as Slimeball's. But it's the same procedure.
It's lying, plain and simple.
I think not.
With that as a credential, he presumes to lecture Europe (specifically, Angela Merkel) on economic affairs.
Soros joins Obama in pushing the "Spend Like Crazy" line. Schlaes suggests that "Spend Like Crazy", when tried before, had consequences which were dreadful.
The financier- philanthropist said last week that Germany is endangering the European Union by keeping wages down and pursuing a balanced national budget too aggressively. Germany’s parsimonious attitude, Soros suggests, may bring down the euro.
But Amity Schlaes, who knows a bit about history and economics, suggests that Soros is not quite as 'philantropic' has he seems.
It is Soros who is endangering the euro by advocating these spending and loosening policies. They are policies that may give Europe budget problems that render its currency vulnerable to attack by Soros-like traders. Perhaps, like Merkel, Soros is doing his endangering for understandable reasons.
And there is this little problem of 'consequences.'
...there is the German national memory of the 1920s hyperinflation. That resulted from the decision of a desperate Weimar Republic to inflate its way out of war debts. That hyperinflation so punished middle-class savings and so weakened the 1920s economy that the average German became more susceptible to maniacs like Adolf Hitler and the communists.
Well, well. Chaos all over again.
The Keynesian argument that the choice is binary, between spending and pain, is untrue. For one thing, deflation isn’t always painful -- in the 1920s, even as Germany agonized, the U.S. thrived during an American deflation. Budget tightening, especially in combination with competitive tax codes, may put all Europe on a growth path that renders its currency a true competitor for the role of global leader over the long run.
Or Europe could cave to Soros' ankle-biting and see what sort of 'historical figure' arises THIS time.
KAGAN: "The 14th Amendment was an enormous break after the Civil War, and — and created a different Constitution for America. So partly the changes come in that way.
But — but partly, they — they come outside the formal amendment process, as well. And what you said about Plessy and — and Brown is absolutely right. That if you look at the specific intent of the drafters of the 14th Amendment, they thought that the 14th Amendment was perfectly consistent with segregated schools.
I mean, you just have to — you can’t really argue otherwise as an historical matter.
But in Brown, the court said otherwise. And, you know, step by step by step, decision by decision, in large part because of what Justice Marshall did, you know, we got to a place where the court said it’s inconsistent with the principle of equal protection of the laws that the drafters of the 14th Amendment laid down; is inconsistent with that principle to have segregated schools.
So — so that’s the way in which change can happen, as well.You will note that Ms. Kagan (curiously) forgot all about Plessy in that last graf-and-a-half.
You cited Brown v. Board of Education as an example of a court decision that changed the Constitution, stating that the framers of the 14th Amendment believed it allowed segregation in its schools.
I believe — and I think a number of prominent legal scholars agree — that Brown did not change the Constitution. Rather, I believe Brown affirmed and restored the original meaning of the 14th Amendment by overturning the repugnant and constitutional separate but equal regime sanctioned by Plessy v. Ferguson.
And so I support Brown on originalist grounds. I would just refer to you, Senator Charles Sumner, a leading framer of the 14th Amendment, who said it’s easy to see that the separate school founded on an odious discrimination, and sometimes offered as an equivalent for the common school, is an ill-disguised violation of the principle of equality.
And between 1870 and 1875, both houses of the United States Congress voted repeatedly by significant margins, majorities, in favor of legislation premised on the theory that segregation of the public schools is unconstitutional.So, in light of this history, I believe that Brown did not change the Constitution, but rather realigned the interpretation of the 14th Amendment with the intentions of the framers of the 14th Amendment.
There is a good reason that Ms. Kagan "forgot" about Plessy in her meandering.
SCOTUS' decision in Plessy was wrong, as Sen. Cornyn makes clear. It was not only odious on its face; it was clearly in violation of the 'original intent' of the 14th Amendment.
The implication is clear: had SCOTUS stuck to the original intent, Brown would not have been necessary.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
While serving as Dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan’s administration demanded and forced Blue-Cross, Blue-Shield to cover sex-change operations as an “equal right” paid benefit,
...Kagan also offered sympathetic ear to lesbian group Lambda’s Transgender Task Force demand to force all women to share public bathrooms and locker-rooms with cross-dressing men, which is now part of Harvard’s dormitory policy,...
Not qualified. Not even from this planet.
Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine.
Wells Fargo, eh?
...Large banks are protected from indictments by a variant of the too-big-to-fail theory.
Indicting a big bank could trigger a mad dash by investors to dump shares and cause panic in financial markets, says Jack Blum, a U.S. Senate investigator for 14 years and a consultant to international banks and brokerage firms on money laundering.The theory is like a get-out-of-jail-free card for big banks,...
Apparently Western Union and Bank of America are also very..........ahhh........accomodating institutions.
Obviously, these folks have Too Much Cash.
In early 2000, Lockheed engineers went back to the drawing board, worked out the bugs, and were back launching the hyper-accurate interceptor by 2005. There hasn't been a test failure since (just yesterday there was another successful intercept), a record sturdy enough for the Army to stand up two batteries of the critical system in the past two years. The launchers were designed explicitly to intercept SCUD type missiles, and are also capable of killing an ICBM payload when it's in the terminal phase of flight. Given the widespread proliferation of ballistic missiles, the need for such a weapon is pressing. --quoted at AOSHQ
And sure enough, there's a treaty out there which could shut this down.
The Obama administration on Monday unveiled a space policy that renounces the unilateral stance of the Bush administration and instead emphasizes international cooperation, including the possibility of an arms control treaty that would limit the development of space weapons. --NYT via AOSHQ
Bammy may want to shut it down, and he may try. But funding originates in the House of Representatives, not the Oval Office.
If Bammy shuts of missile defense, the House should simply shut down the rest of the Government.
It won't be a big loss.
Is the Gummint entirely filled with incompetents? That's germane when you remember Obamacare.
Or is the Gummint entirely filled with duplicitous lying scumbags, which is germane no matter what.
Maybe both? Ugh.
The office of Solicitor General Elena Kagan has delayed responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by CNSNews.com that seeks records that might shed light on whether Kagan would need to recuse herself from certain cases if she is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.
...In a letter delivered to CNSNews.com via email on Friday afternoon, Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) Executive Officer Valerie H. Hall gave two reasons for the OSG delaying its response to CNSNews.com’s FOIA request. The first was that the OSG did not understand what was meant in the FOIA request by the term “the administration’s health-care reform plan.” The second was that it did not understand whether the term “any particular case” in the FOIA request actually meant “any particular case” or only referred to cases focusing on health care.
Incompetent boob? Or just another snake-liar?
What CNS is after is Kagan materials on ObamaCare because under 28 USC Section 455, she would have to recuse herself from deliberations/decisions should a suit over ObamaCare come to SCOTUS.
That is, assuming that the rule of law remains in force by then.
Monday, June 28, 2010
That's changed. Wayne should retire because he's gone bonkers.
...internal Senate emails confirmed by NRA Board Members show that the National Rifle Association’s management team has explicitly and directly told the NRA’s board they are prohibited from testifying about second amendment issues during the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings.
That’s right: the foremost gun rights lobby in the nation is prohibiting its board from testifying in the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings about the second amendment.And it's not only formal testimony; LaPierre has instructed his Board not to talk about the Kagan nomination as private individuals, either.
I don't have a copy of the NRA constitution and bylaws handy. But in any OTHER organization, the Chief Operating Officer (LaPierre) reports to the Board.
Evidently LaPierre thinks that the NRA Board reports to him.
(Sorta like "Bite Me" Biden thinks that taxpayers report to him and should kiss his ass for showing up and mooching food while pretending to be a regular guy.)
Sorry, Wayne. JPFO or GOA are the alternatives, and they are consistent.
That's the Internet (color code is at the link.) The picture is important because it shows you that Bammy will not achieve "internet security" with the (D) PowerGrab bill.
But he WILL gain a lot of control.
These powers extend beyond declared emergencies, however. Rockefeller’s bill would immediately grant the ability of the government to control hiring and firing of jobs related to these so-called critical networks, because the President could unilaterally declare that jobs related to those networks would be required to be filled by people certified to the task by the government.
That's not all.
Consider the premise of the bill: we have to defend ourselves against a hypothetical attack by a foreign power on this country’s computers over the Internet. It sounds just so reasonable that we should just be able to “shut off the pipe” to country X until the threat passes, doesn’t it? The problem is, there is no one pipe. The Internet is not like the system of roads, centralized and government owned. The Internet is a tangled web of private networks, any or all of the biggest of which (”the Backbone”) might have their own connections to private networks in other countries (That's what the picture is all about.)
So. Bammy gets "emergency" power to appoint his own boyzzzz to run parts of the 'net, and sprays foofoodust about "national security" in the room.
But you don't get "national security." You get BammyBoyzzzz running the 'net.
Bammy does a great job of trampling on property rights (see GM bondholders and BP's "voluntary" $20 BN fund.)
But temporarily shoving stupid regulations out of the way?
White House, your name is Incompetent Boobland.
Each morning seems to bring a new fool’s errand. On June 18, for example, the U.S. Coast Guard apprehended a dozen oil-skimming barges in the midst of performing their duty, and shut down their operations for the rest of the day in order to determine if they were carrying the proper number of life preservers and fire extinguishers. If the Coast Guard was so worried about safety, why not simply take a big pile of life preservers and fire extinguishers out to these craft and hand them around, so that the skimmers could keep at their essential job? But that is not the way government operates. At least not this government, which has created a perfect storm of bureaucratic and regulatory gridlock around the Deep-water Horizon disaster. Whatever is done to prevent the oil from coming ashore must be approved by the EPA, OSHA, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard, and a host of lesser bureaucracies. Just a few days ago, a large slick of oil several hundred acres in size was allowed to enter Mobile Bay and hover in the lee of Gaillard Island, one of the largest Brown Pelican rookeries in the United States. According to a spokesman for BP, “None of the 135 boats working out of Dog River, or the 54 boats working out of Fairhope, had the training to handle the oil.” It seems oil skimming or booming requires taking courses and passing tests given by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. -Otherwise you run the risk of being arrested. Same goes for trying to save oiled birds or other wildlife. Federal permits—which can take up to three years to process—are required, and violators are subject to arrest, fines, and jail.
Bammy wants chaos and crisis.
...If you have “freedom of religion,” you can bring up your children in your faith, hold public processions, and print books. If you have only “freedom of worship” you can pray quietly in your home, as long as it remains out of public sight.
“Freedom of religion” means you can stand on a street corner and proselytize everything from Catholicism to Mormonism to the cult of the sun god Ra. “Freedom of worship” means you can be executed for public conversion away from Islam. Worship is part of religion, but it is one of the least public parts—and thus one of the least involved in actual freedom.
Bottum goes on to point out that Teh Won has used "freedom of worship", not "freedom of religion" several times in the past few months. He was using his TelePrompter.
Words matter, as Orwell was happy to note.
He indicated that there will be an attempt to re-hear or reverse the decision which cost his company $600 million in sales and probably 1,000 jobs in the US.
(There is no provision for appeal in law, but the President of the US could, perhaps, find a way to influence a re-hearing in Bucyrus' favor.)
But Sullivan said something else of interest.
He specifically mentioned that Teh Won will be in Racine this Wednesday and that the Steelworkers' Union members at Bucyrus are extremely agitated about Obama's decision.
THAT, my friends, is most interesting.
President Obama instituted the funding policy in a March 11, 2009 Executive Order, purportedly backing funding for "responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research ... to the extent permitted by law."
That phraseology is foofoodust, and adult stem-cell researchers sued.
Overturning a lower court ruling, a federal appeals court has told adult stem-cell researchers that they have standing to fight guidelines allowing taxpayer funding of embryonic stem-cell research.
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued its decision Friday, finding that doctors doing adult stem cell research have 'competitive standing' to sue. Therefore, the court reinstated the doctors' federal lawsuit, filed last summer, that seeks to preliminarily enjoin and ultimately overturn the controversial guidelines for public funding of embryonic stem cell research that the National Institutes of Health issued on July 7, 2009.
It's not the end of The Regime's abuses of power. But it's a nice roadblock for one of them.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
AT THE FRONT LINES IN ITALY, JANUARY 10, 1944
Capt. Waskow was a company commander in the 36th Division. He had led his company since long before it left the States. He was very young, only in his middle twenties, but he carried in him a sincerity and gentleness that made people want to be guided by him.
"After my own father, he came next," a sergeant told me.
"He always looked after us," a soldier said. "He’d go to bat for us every time."
"I’ve never knowed him to do anything unfair," another one said.
I was at the foot of the mule trail the night they brought Capt. Waskow’s body down. The moon was nearly full at the time, and you could see far up the trail, and even part way across the valley below. Soldiers made shadows in the moonlight as they walked.
Dead men had been coming down the mountain all evening, lashed onto the backs of mules. They came lying belly-down across the wooden pack-saddles, their heads hanging down on the left side of the mule, their stiffened legs sticking out awkwardly from the other side, bobbing up and down as the mule walked.
The Italian mule-skinners were afraid to walk beside dead men, so Americans had to lead the mules down that night. Even the Americans were reluctant to unlash and lift off the bodies at the bottom, so an officer had to do it himself, and ask others to help.
The first one came early in the morning. They slid him down from the mule and stood him on his feet for a moment, while they got a new grip. In the half light he might have been merely a sick man standing there, leaning on the others. Then they laid him on the ground in the shadow of the low stone wall alongside the road.
I don’t know who that first one was. You feel small in the presence of dead men, and ashamed at being alive, and you don’t ask silly questions.
We left him there beside the road, that first one, and we all went back into the cowshed and sat on water cans or lay on the straw, waiting for the next batch of mules.
Somebody said the dead soldier had been dead for four days, and then nobody said anything more about it. We talked soldier talk for an hour or more. The dead man lay all alone outside in the shadow of the low stone wall.
Then a soldier came into the cowshed and said there were some more bodies outside. We went out into the road. Four mules stood there, in the moonlight, in the road where the trail came down off the mountain. The soldiers who led them stood there waiting. "This one is Captain Waskow," one of them said quietly.
Two men unlashed his body from the mule and lifted it off and laid it in the shadow beside the low stone wall. Other men took the other bodies off. Finally there were five lying end to end in a long row, alongside the road. You don’t cover up dead men in the combat zone. They just lie there in the shadows until somebody else comes after them.
The unburdened mules moved off to their olive orchard. The men in the road seemed reluctant to leave. They stood around, and gradually one by one I could sense them moving close to Capt. Waskow’s body. Not so much to look, I think, as to say something in finality to him, and to themselves. I stood close by and I could hear.
One soldier came and looked down, and he said out loud, "God damn it." That’s all he said, and then he walked away. Another one came. He said, "God damn it to hell anyway." He looked down for a few last moments, and then he turned and left.
Another man came; I think he was an officer. It was hard to tell officers from men in the half light, for all were bearded and grimy dirty. The man looked down into the dead captain’s face, and then he spoke directly to him, as though he were alive. He said: "I’m sorry, old man."
Then a soldier came and stood beside the officer, and bent over, and he too spoke to his dead captain, not in a whisper but awfully tenderly, and he said:
"I sure am sorry, sir."
Then the first man squatted down, and he reached down and took the dead hand, and he sat there for a full five minutes, holding the dead hand in his own and looking intently into the dead face, and he never uttered a sound all the time he sat there.
And finally he put the hand down, and then reached up and gently straightened the points of the captain’s shirt collar, and then he sort of rearranged the tattered edges of his uniform around the wound. And then he got up and walked away down the road in the moonlight, all alone.
That is powerful writing.
Wilfred Owen matched it, but in poetry.
..."None", said the other, "save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something had been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled.
Or, discontent, boil boldly, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Miss we the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even from wells we sunk too deep for war,
Even from the sweetest wells that ever were.
That was the Captain of Pyle's piece speaking, for all those dead of wars.
The signal is clear: if you make machinery or equipment which does not comport with Obama's dream-world energy scenario, you are in the crosshairs. Any responsible businessman now has to think long and hard about the terms and conditions surrounding that business.
Or supplying that business. And if you're in the Upper Midwest, or SE Wisconsin, where most of that equipment is manufactured, that's an 8,000 pound gorilla.
Bucyrus mining equipment uses a lot of non-Bucyrus-manufactured goods including tires, engines, castings, cables, control-systems, electric motors, hydraulics, track, stampings and fabrications, and thousands of other, smaller parts. So companies such as Goodrich and Deere will be affected, as will at least a dozen Wisconsin manufacturers that I can think of offhand.
Same can be said for P&H/Joy Global (aka Harnischfeger)--another significant Milwaukee employer which buys similar components from a similar group of suppliers--many of which are in SE Wisconsin.
Same can be said for Waukesha Engine, whose products push natural gas from the wellhead to (say) Wisconsin.
Countless electric utilities across the US use coal as their 'base-load' fuel, meaning that coal is the primary source of power generation. It's the most efficacious energy source in the world, bar none. (Nukes may be more so, but they are NOT going to be built soon in the US with the Green Weenie thinking that's au courant.) You can bet that all of the utility CEO's paid attention to that Ex-Im decision. If they are thinking about upgrading a coal-burner, they know that it will be a harder fight--and maybe one that cannot be won. MG&E, WE Energies, the Green Bay utility formerly known as WPS, and Alliant/WP&L are in that group, along with American Electric Power of Ohio. And businesses such as Babcock/Wilcox boilers, or steam-turbine manufacturers like GE, are also getting a dismal wake-up call.
But it's hardly concentrated in SE Wisconsin or the Upper Midwest. Mining equipment is manufactured all over the US by large and small companies. Caterpillar, Thyssen-Krupp, Komatsu, Elgin, Miller Industries--all will now be thinking, hard, about investing in technological advances, or spending money on new employees, equipment, or machinery. That nervousness will be amplified by orders of magnitude when it reaches the desks of their suppliers, which are smaller businesses.
The bankers will also be thinking hard about term-loans or revolvers: what happens if Obama's Green Weenie puts Joe Doakes & Co. out of business? Do I want to lend money to someone in the target-zone of the Federal Government?
At least, they will be thinking hard about doing that in the US.
Brazil or India would be perfectly happy to have a new Bucyrus plant employing 1,000 people, and those Governments would be happy to guarantee a few export loans in order to secure that plant and its jobs. China is already in the game, as is Russia. Yes, Bucyrus (and P&H, and Cat) have arguably better products--but so what? If you cannot BUY the product, quality is not a consideration. And if Bucyrus builds the plant overseas, you get the Bucyrus (or P&H, or Cat) quality AND the plant and jobs. Helluva deal.
Using the old-line multiplier, when Bucyrus loses $600 million in sales, the total effect on the economy will be about 3x that number, or $1.8Bn. Doesn't take too many of those to wreck a State's economy, does it, Senator Feingold? Governor Doyle?
There is one good thing about this. Barrett, Doyle, and Feingold are all inextricably tied to the bomber Obama and his Green Weenie. So are Kagen, Moore, and Kind.
You know what to do.
That's the grabber-graph at this PowerLine post about Joe "BFD's" diss of a the Ordinary Man.
But there's good stuff in the prose, too:
...We have an oppressive ruling class--the government and its foot-soldiers, members of AFSCME--and an exploited, subservient working class, those who toil in the private sector for wages that currently average only around one-half of what our ruling class, government employees, are paid. The tick, in other words, is now faring much better than the dog.
The asshole Ordinary Man should STFU for BFD Joe and his stooge, Feingold.
This Los Angeles County municipality [Maywood] --- 97% Hispanic, 40% illegal --- was one of the first cities to declare itself a sanctuary city and to demand a boycott of the state of Arizona for enforcing immigration laws. Its city council is entirely Hispanic and dominated by La Raza racists. Years ago, it prohibited its police department from confiscating cars from unlicensed drivers. It has demanded Congress grant unconditional amnesty to illegal immigrants.
Today, Maywood is broke. Its police department dismantled along with all other city departments and personnel. Only the city council remains and a city manager to manage the contracts with other agencies for city services in Maywood.
Who Coulda Node??
...as Henry Fountain explains in the New York Times, the gadget in question — an oil-separating centrifuge — marks a major breakthrough in spill cleanup technology. And BP, after trial runs with the device, is ordering 32 more of the Costner-endorsed centrifuges to aid the Gulf cleanup.
Apparently Costner's brother was the inventor.
Too bad that it won't meet inane EPA regulations, eh?
The device can purportedly take in thousands of gallons of oil-tainted water and remove up to 99% of the oil from it.
EPA demands that it be 99.9985% pure.
That would be 0.5585 more pure than Ivory soap.
"It's a matter of capturing the essence of Vice President Biden. It's not writing a speech for him to deliver. It's writing something that he would think anyway."
He's right. The best speeches are a reflection of the speaker's own thought.
So when Biden says
"there's no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession."
He really means it.
And Biden's right. The Regime of which he is a part would rather kill jobs than recover them. Just ask Bucyrus. Or the 'asshole' kid who wants less tax burden.
Smooth moves, Joe.
Bucyrus has not been affected by the recession and has been hiring and keeping its employees for the last several years.
Up to 1,000 jobs at Bucyrus International Inc. and its suppliers could be in jeopardy as the result of a decision by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, funded by Congress, to deny several hundred million dollars in loan guarantees to a coal-fired power plant and mine in India.
...On Thursday, the Export-Import Bank denied financing for Reliance Power Ltd., an Indian power plant company, effectively wiping out about $600 million in coal mining equipment sales for Bucyrus, chief executive Tim Sullivan said.
"President Obama has made clear his administration's commitment to transition away from high-carbon investments and toward a cleaner-energy future," Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg said in a statement. "After careful deliberation, the Export-Import Bank board voted not to proceed with this project because of the projected adverse environmental impact."
How very nice.
$600 million in orders, 1,000 jobs--sacrificed on the altar of Obama/Doyle/Feingold Green policies.
The Regime Leader will be in Racine on Wednesday. He needs to be told something.
And there was Biden, telling a constituent that asking for lower taxes was a "smartass" move.
I'm sure that Feingold is very happy about that.
After this story was released, we went to Kopps/Brookfield and spent a bunch of money.
Happy to do it, too.
Up yours, Joe.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Joe “Bite-Me” Biden traveled to Wisconsin yesterday to campaign with far left Progressive Russ Feingold (D-WI). Smokin Joe ordered a custard at a popular custard stand in Glendale during one of their stops. When Biden asked Kopp’s Frozen Custard stand owner how much he owed him, the owner responded,
“Nothing, just lower our taxes."
Sheriff Joe ignored the remark and walked away. But he did not return the custard-cone.
That manager should be given a Hero Badge at the next Tea Party.
HT: Gateway. (Channel 12 Video is there)
Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn't good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million -- if water isn't at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.
I guess MMSD wouldn't make the cut, huh?
..."there's no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession."
Not while your guy Obama is screwing up the works, Joe.
ObamaGreeNomics will cost Bucyrus around $650 million in lost sales and 1,000 jobs or so. Russ Feingold posed with Joe Biden at a fundraiser. That picture will be VERY useful to the Republican nominee.
Up to 1,000 jobs at Bucyrus International Inc. could be in jeopardy as the result of a decision by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, funded by Congress, to deny $250 million in loan guarantees to a coal-fired power plant and mine in India
"President Obama has made clear his administration's commitment to transition away from high-carbon investments and toward a cleaner-energy future," Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg said in a statement.
"After careful deliberation, the Export-Import Bank board voted not to proceed with this project because of the projected adverse environmental impact," Hochberg added.Too bad. Bucyrus is (at this time) a happy spot in the SE Wisconsin economy.
"We need to impose a fee on the banks that were the biggest beneficiaries of taxpayer assistance at the height of our financial crisis -- so we can recover every dime of taxpayer money," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.
To be precise, he wants to get 0.15% of deposits from TARP-takers.
Which means, of course, that they will extract 0.175% from depositors or from borrowers.
So what does he think about the (D) Financial "Reform" bill?
- The Cops (regulators and ratings agencies) working for the crooks.
- Banks still Too Big To Fail.
- Banks gambling with your deposits.
All you need to do is go to the very last 5 or so grafs to find the important information.
Walker also released a report showing that nearly all flaws identified by inspectors in the O'Donnell Park parking ramp in 2009 had been corrected. An earlier report listed $600,000 of repairs the ramp needed.
All items listed as critical, potentially critical or necessary - the three highest priority problem categories - have been repaired, Walker said in an interview. Those include repairing the ramp's sprinkler system, patching cracks in the ramp's superstructure and repairing expansion joints, according to an updated report done Friday by county Parks Director Sue Black.
None of those problems related to the concrete facade slabs that decorate the sides of the ramp, Walker said.SlumLord Holloway calls for a "safety review" of all County properties. Maybe he should do them himself. He ought to know about property-safety-reviews, given his extensive up-close-and-personal knowledge of buildings in disrepair.
Wisconsin hospitals screeched until they got their tax increase. They crawled into bed with Jim Doyle to get it.
What happened next?
Health care officials say changes to the funding formula and additional cuts from the state could move the Medicaid reimbursement rate to where it was in 2008.
At Froedtert, that meant a reduction of $1,000 per inpatient discharge, McNally said.
“Since we serve thousands of Medicaid patients, this decrease almost completely offsets the gains from the assessment payments,” McNally said. “We’d hoped we would make more progress in covering our costs than we’ve made. The wild card is, you can’t predict what would have happened if the state hadn’t used the assessment.”
By placing greater emphasis on the volume of patients treated, as opposed to the severity of the illness, the formula benefits small, non-urban hospitals, Jensen saidYah, well, at least your hospital didn't damn-near-collapse like Doyle/Barrett bridges.
By the way, Doyle won't respect you in the morning, either. Best get your antibiotics soon.
One such spot: the State of Washington.
Incumbent Democrat Patty Murray and Republican challenger Dino Rossi remain tied in Washington’s U.S. Senate race
Another will be North Carolina.
Longtime Secretary of State Elaine Marshall appears to have received a bounce in support following her Democratic Primary runoff victory Tuesday and is now even with incumbent Republican Richard Burr in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race
*We know that they didn't disband. They just changed their name(s).
There are no Secret Service agents posted next to the barista and no presidential seal on the ceiling, but the Caribou Coffee across the street from the White House has become a favorite meeting spot to conduct Obama administration business.
...because the discussions are not taking place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they are not subject to disclosure on the visitors’ log that the White House releases as part of its pledge to be the “most transparent presidential administration in history.”
On the agenda over espressos and lattes, according to more than a dozen lobbyists and political operatives who have taken part in the sessions, have been front-burner issues like Wall Street regulation, health care rules, federal stimulus money, energy policy and climate control — and their impact on the lobbyists’ corporate clients.
Oh, yah. Emails are from personal, rather than White House addresses; lobbyists are joining the Administration--after being "de-registered" of course--
Same sludge, different day.
Still wonder what the Tea Parties are all about?
HT: Beltway Confidential
Friday, June 25, 2010
The evening's events broke new ground. The idea was initially proposed by William Mahrt and carried out by Arlene Oost-Zinner: a panel on the growth of sacred music programs in academia. The panelists included Kurt Poterack (Christendom College), Paul Weber and Alanna Keenan (Franciscan University Steubenville), Ann Labounsky and Sr. Marie Agatha Ozah (Duquesne University), Susan Treacy (Ave Maria University), and Peter Jeffery (Notre Dame University).
Each talked about the program of his or her institution and commented on the dramatic change in the attitudes of students today as compared with the past. The interest in sacred music and chant is very intense, to the point of representing a serious paradigm shift. Professor Jeffery in particular spoke of the support he has received from the administration to forge a program that will have national influence, and he looks forward to working with student groups in the year's ahead.
Gott im Himmel! Notre Dame students might actually know about Chant in the future?
Samelson grasps something that the exhibitionists of the world do not (though voyeurs may): women who bare too much are ultimately sabotaging themselves: “When women draw attention to their bodies, they are asking to be defined by their bodies, and at some point, they will find themselves treated as if they were nothing more than a body.”
Uh-huh. Who needs personality and brains if you have boobs?
The saddest: the (evidently) wannabe cougars.....
HT: Catholic Thing
"So is Guardini right? Does modern man seem incapable of real worship? I think so. But the more important question for us is this: If he is right, what are we going to do about it?
"One of the few people who have wrestled with the issues Guardini raised is a Chicago priest who’s made his own important contributions to the liturgical and intellectual renewal of the Church, Father Robert Barron.
"Barron puts the issue this way: “The project is not shaping the liturgy according to the suppositions of the age, but allowing the liturgy to question and shape the suppositions of any age. Is the modern man incapable of the liturgical act? Probably. But this is no ground for despair. Our goal is not to accommodate the liturgy to the world, but to let the liturgy be itself -- a transformative icon of the ordo of God.”
Barron suggests that in the post-conciliar era, the professional Catholic liturgical establishment opted for the former path, trying to adapt the liturgy to the demands of modern culture. I would agree. And I would add that time has shown this to be a dead end. Trying to engineer the liturgy to be more “relevant” and “intelligible” through a kind of relentless cult of novelty, has only resulted in confusion and a deepening of the divide between believers and the true spirit of the liturgy.iiiThat's the hermeneutic of continuity, folks.
The Archbishop went on to enumerate four point he thinks should be recalled. The second is worth contemplation:
The liturgy is a participation in the liturgy of heaven, in which we worship in Spirit and truth with the worldwide Church and the communion of saints.v
This may be the most neglected dimension of the liturgy today. If our liturgies strike us as pedestrian, narrowly parochial, too focused on our own communities and needs; if they lack a powerful sense of the sacred and the transcendent, it’s because we have lost the sense of how our worship participates in the heavenly liturgy.
Smells and bells are not really optional; sacred time, sacred space, sacred language (whether Latin or vernacular) are not really optional.
Conversely, 'pedestrian' 'self-oriented' music should be dumped.
Good stuff, and more at the link.
There's a discharge petition which would force a vote to repeal ObamaCare.
Republicans in Congress say they’d vote for full repeal of Obamacare. But how many are willing to put their signature where their mouth is? Will John Boehner sign the discharge petition? Will Eric Cantor? Will Mike Pence (of course Pence will)? Will they work to get other Republicans to sign it?
Heh. Squirming, wiggling, "vacationing" and general foofoodusting will commence shortly.
And he's right, too.
There are two Republican parties, and both had a candidate on the 2008 presidential ticket. John McCain was the candidate of the thin-blooded aristocracy, tired men who dislike certain elements of their nominal constituency far more intensely than their political opposition. They have no strenuous objection to the premises of the Left,
(He was tactful enough not to mention GWBush or his Globaloney Daddy...)
The other Republican party is young and vital. On the 2008 ticket, its banner was carried by Sarah Palin. It’s the yeoman wing of the party, composed of people with middle-class backgrounds and real-world business experience. These people are appalled at the bloated mess in Washington,
(I would have added "fetid" after "bloated," but it's cleaner his way.)
The American people should no longer settle for representatives whose resumes contain nothing but political accomplishments – as if those are somehow worth a damn compared to private-sector experience.
Plenty more at the link.
Although most US-based economists are convinced that the special status of the dollar somehow renders the USA impervious to economic laws, the danger of US debt default is nearly as great as it is in Europe. The fact that the defaults are likely to begin in the next two years with the state and local governments does not mean that they are going to end there. However, a partial default would be much more likely than a general one, with the USA defaulting on the third of its debt that is presently held by China coming as a prelude to war between the waning superpower and its self-appointed would-be successor.
Major economic and historical transition points are almost always accompanied by large-scale war. I see no reason to believe that this will not be the case again in this repetition of the cycle.
It is already clear that Obama is incapable of decision-making.
He was not decisive in Porkulus, nor ObamaCare, nor Gitmo, nor Iraq.
He has made an art-form of evasive or meaningless speechification.
That doesn't cut s*&^ in a full-bore war.
It's a simple plan:
Republicans put forward an alternative bill that would extend unemployment benefits and pay for them with unused funds from the $787 billion stimulus.
Question for "Mr. Tightwad" Feingold:
Do you support the Republican plan, Rusty? Or are you a hypocritical big-spender/BK-for-America kinda Democrat?
The Q1 real GDP rate was revised down again (third estimate) to 2.7% from the 2nd estimate of 3.0%.
Consumer spending was weaker in Q1 than originally estimated. PCE growth (personal consumption expenditures) was revised down to 3.0% in Q1 from the previous estimate of 3.5%.
The "Change in private inventories" was revised up to a contribution of 1.88% from the previous estimate of 1.65%. So inventory adjustment accounted for over two-thirds of the GDP growth in Q1 - and the inventory adjustment appears over
Even MORE terrific.
O Great Obambi! Please enlighten us!! Where Is Porkulus??
He chooses to focus on the big stuff: murder, armed robbery, (etc.)
Glenn Frankowis, however, finds a letter signed by 520 Milwaukee businessmen to be far more persuasive. Milwaukee DOES have a crime problem.
That happens to fit very well with a conversation I had with another Milwaukee cop. The windows are breaking left and right, and that is far more deleterious to the City than the murder rate. People leave town when they do not feel safe, and "broken windows" are popping up all over.
Breitbart, Levin, and AOSHQ have it.
Great PR for Milwaukee!
...It is Chambers’ religious insight that Reinsch examines in The Spirit of a Counterrevolutionary, which is written with real grace and perspicacity. To Chambers, man had gone wrong during the Enlightenment, thinking, as Reinsch puts it, “that man constructs his own reality through an overarching reason.” [A line infamously echoed by SCOTUS' Kennedy.]
Chamber' thoughts on the Benedictines are very significant and penetrating:
For those who obeyed it, [the Benedictine Order] ended three great alienations of the spirit whose action, I suspect, touched on that missing something which my instructors failed to find among the causes of the fall of Rome. The same alienation, I further suspect, can be seen at their work of dissolution among ourselves, and are perhaps among the little noticed reasons why men turn to Communism. They are: the alienation of the spirit of man from traditional authority; his alienation from the idea of a traditional order; and a crippling alienation that he feels at the point where civilization has deprived him of the joy of simple productive labor.
Chambers' thought on materialistic capitalism led to his famous (and correct) denunciation of Ayn Rand--who is a heroine to Glenn Beck, by the way.
He felt the same way about capitalism—that used wisely and by a virtuous people who accepted the limits of being human, it was the only workable system. It was when capitalism became a utopian dream, and when people grew too fat and greedy, that it became like the lie of communism. Chambers felt that people in the West had grown too spiritually atrophied to resist communism, or at least the ever-expanding state. He pointed to the Catholic Church as the one unflinching defender of Western religious tradition.
One is reminded of Solzhenitsyn. Good company. It's no surprise that Solzhenitsyn is, like Chambers, relegated to a dustbin by the Modern Establishment.
But only one was the favorite of Dave Schultz, and (surprise!!) it seems that that one firm had a few problems. Falling-down concrete, cracked roof, and as a bonus, crappy Mental Health Center design, too!
Milwaukee County opened O’Donnell Park in the early 1990s. It covers more than 7 acres and is built atop a 1,250-space parking garage.
When it was built, problems dogged the project, including cracks in the structure because the weight of the park was more than the garage underneath could bear.
The first cracks were discovered in May 1991, prompting removal of tons of dirt that had been piled atop the park for landscaping. Crews also repaired and strengthened the steel-and-concrete skeleton of the structure.
Five months after discovering the cracks, the county fired Jordan Miller, the architect working on the $30 million project.
A subsequent investigation by the Milwaukee Sentinel found that Miller’s firm, Miller Meier Kenyon Cooper Architects and Engineers Inc., was not on the original list of finalists for the job but was added to the list at the request of Dave Schulz, then county parks director and later county executive.
Miller’s firm was selected even though the county was suing it over a defective roof design at the Mental Health Complex in Wauwatosa, a lawsuit that ended with a $700,000 judgment in the county’s favor.
In 1992, the county sued five other firms that worked on the project. Miller, Meier, meanwhile, filed a claim against the county for alleged damages.
Repairs of structural problems at the garage cost the county $3.4 million.Just so we have this straight:
The Milwaukee County Board (majority Lefty/Democrats) and former Milwaukee County Executives (all Lefty/Democrats) hired an A/E firm which didn't do its job very well.
Now the Milwaukee County Board (majority Lefty/Democrats) blames Scott Walker for problems at the Mental Health Complex.
Not only that, but Lee Holloway, Slumlord/Lefty/Democrat, implies that Walker failed to maintain the Lefty/Democrat design failure.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Yes, less algae is good. But so are the other things that people won’t be able to do with money because the state has decided they’ll instead put it into the nation’s strictest phosphorus controls. The DNR has made the trade-off without us even knowing what the real price is.
Frankly, DNR doesn't CARE what the price is, either.
Find out who else doesn't give a rip what you pay--and no, it's not only MMSD. Read the rest of his post.
Continetti contrasts two spokesmen for the Tea Party: Rick Santelli who on CNBC came up with the idea and Glenn Beck, the Fox TV host. When Santelli blurted out the idea that there should be a Tea Party, he obviously had in mind a kind of reaction against wild spending and unlimited taxation. Fair enough. But Continetti disses Beck as a kind of latter-day John Bircher.
I can’t watch Beck all the time but I can tell you from my experience as a decrepit octogenarian that he has been infinitely more valuable to conservatism at this time than any other pundit including Limbaugh, in my estimation.
Evidently this Continetti fellow was given a perch by the War Party's house-organ, The Weekly Standard. The Standard (Billy Kristol) sees that they are losing control over the Conservative movement and they do not like it.
(See Coddington Van Voorhees VII for the appropriate comparison.)
Well, get used to it, Standard-bearers. For all his oddities, Beck is exactly what Roeser says: an excellent teacher of history.
By and by, Beck might even get to that "foreign entanglements" thing of G. Washington--which is what you fear most.
And by the way: Repeal the 17th!!
There can be no doubt that home prices have moved way down from the 2005-06 peaks. How did I reach the conclusion that, even after a 33% decrease in prices?
By using traditional metrics. Whether we are looking at US housing stock as a percentage of GDP or Median income vs home prices or even ownership vs renting costs, prices remain elevated. Indeed, we see prices remain above historic mean.
Consider price relative to income. From 1977 to 2010, the median US home price was 4.1 times median household income. But as the chart below shows, Home prices are still above that mean. Oh, and that mean is artificially elevated due to the 2002-07 boom. Same with home prices relative to rentals, or housing value as percentage of GDP.
And prices could fall a VERY long way.
Further, we should not assume that prices will merely mean revert back to historic levels. In most markets, a near 3 standard deviation price move is resolved not by reverting to the mean, but by by careening far below it.Both the Bushies and the Obamites seem to think that with enough Gummint propping and cheerleading (and forebearance-of-foreclosures, and threats), that housing prices will recover.
Naturally, the Banks, GSE's, and Realtors are very much in favor of WHATEVER it takes to prop up home prices (read: collateral and commissions.) Local governments which use property taxes are equally interested in propping up housing values.
Finger in the dike, boys. It ain't gonna work.
The obvious exception: Paul Ryan.
"Why am I so sure that a spending-and-revenue compromise is the only plan that has a chance of succeeding? Because a [reduction in] spending-only plan has been on the table for more than two years. It's Republican Congressman Paul Ryan's Roadmap, and it was originally introduced in May of 2008. Even though I strongly oppose its severe Medicare cuts for seniors, I've praised Congressman Ryan for being the only one in his party to offer a solution equal to the problem. But what have we heard from his own party? Crickets. For two years. The Republican Party has run away from Paul Ryan's plan, even though you'd expect it to rush to embrace a proposal based on spending cuts. As the Cato Institute's Michael Tanner observed last month, ‘The Ryan Roadmap is a test, and right now the Republican Party is failing it.'
While I recognize that anecdotes are not data, I remind you that more than a few friends and business associates (of the conservative, but not "radical" persuasion) have voiced the opinion that dumping ALL Congresscritters and Senators is their preferred option.
Now you know why.
Clearly, Obama didn't bother with history lessons while at Oxy, Columbia, or Hahhhhvahd.
President Obama did what he had to do in relieving Gen. Stanley McChrystal of command yesterday. But despite the appointment of Gen. David H. Petraeus to succeed McChrystal, Obama did nothing to clarify the strategy or make victory more likely in Afghanistan.
(A reminder: I think that the War Party persuaded GWB to enter a fool's mission. "Nation-building" is not the business of the Department of Defense. Finding and killing Bin Ladin, in contrast, is a perfectly valid mission.)
Having said that, Babbin's essay is dead on.
Obama himself is entirely vague. In his announcement of McChrystal's relief, he said, "We have a clear goal. We are going to break the Taliban's momentum. We are going to build Afghan capacity. We are going to relentlessly apply pressure on Al Qaeda and its leadership, strengthening the ability of both Afghanistan and Pakistan to do the same."
...The goals Obama set for Afghanistan -- like the jobs "created or saved" by the Obama "stimulus" last year -- are meaningless. They are political, and not susceptible of objective measurement.
Meaningless goals are dangerous to US troops. Let's be clear: McChrystal and Petraeus BOTH acceded to Obama's demands that 'no civilians' will be killed. That engendered Rules of Engagement which are almost suicidal.
While Mike Yon is an optimist about the Petraeus appointment, I'm not, and neither is Babbin, who has lots of cred.
More here, from a Brit war correspondent. It's not happy talk...